Champions League Betting: How 250/1 Ajax defied the odds to reach the semi-finals

Matthijs de Ligt Ajax 2018-19

Whilst Barcelona vs Liverpool was a Champions League semi-final that perhaps some people would have seen coming, Ajax vs Tottenham probably wasn't.

Spurs’ victory over Manchester City on away goals following a 4-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium was nothing short of spectacular, and a correct score bet would have paid out at 66/1 (67.0) with bet365.

However, it is Ajax’s run to the final four that has captured the hearts of many, with the Dutch side’s outright odds shortening from 250/1 (251.0) pre-tournament all the way down to just 9/2 (5.50) ahead of the semis.

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Dusan Tadic Ajax Real Madrid

After finishing second in Group E behind Bayern Munich, who they drew 3-3 with in their final group game, Ajax were paired with reigning champions Real Madrid and were still 150/1 (151.0) to win the tournament.

Even without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real could still be a deadly force. That proved to be the case in the first leg as the Spaniards justified their 6/5 (2.20) pre-match odds to take a 2-1 lead back to Madrid.

Ajax - now out at 200/1 (201.0) - refused to lay down and roll over by pulling off one of the most shocking upsets in recent memory as Dusan Tadic inspired them to a stunning 4-1 victory in the Spanish capital.

Erik ten Hag’s men were 18/5 (4.60) to win that game and out at 9/2 (5.50) to qualify, with a 4-1 away victory priced at 50/1 (51.0). bet365 shortened them to 25/1 (26.0) in the outright betting but that price did not last long.

Ajax celebrating Juventus Champions League

Just over a week later the price went back out to 40/1 (41.0) thanks to being drawn against Juventus, who emerged from their last 16 clash against Atletico courtesy of a Ronaldo hat-trick.

Juve were installed as 9/25 (1.36) favourites to make the semi-finals whilst Ajax could be backed at 2/1 (3.0), and that price drifted out 49/20 (3.45) following a 1-1 draw at the Johan Cryuff Arena.

It looked to be all over bar the shouting when Ronaldo headed home in the first half of the second leg to make it 1-0, but the 33-time Eredivisie champions scored twice without reply to pull off a stunning win.

That shortened them to 7/1 (8.0) in the outright betting, still some way behind the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City, but the latter’s elimination on Wednesday caused Ajax to be cut to 9/2 (5.50).

bet365 go 11/5 (3.20) that Ajax win the first leg at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and 10/11 (1.91) to qualify, with Tottenham also available to make it to the final at the same price. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly.

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